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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 99-11-10
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Wednesday, 10 November 1999
In a statement to the press prior to his departure, President Clerides said that he is going to Durban in South Africa for the Heads of Government meeting and from there straight to Constantinople to participate in the Conference of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Then he will fly to Athens where he will have talks with the Greek Prime Minister Mr Costas Simitis.
During his stay in Durban, the President said he will meet with the British Prime Minister Mr Tony Blair and other Heads of State or Government, with whom he will discuss both the substance of the Cyprus problem and the procedure for a settlement.
Replying to questions President Clerides said the UN Secretary-General would decide when he would call the two sides to talks, after he assessed the situation following President Clinton's meetings with the Turkish Government in Istanbul. He recalled that one of the UN Secretary-General's conditions for the resumption of talks, was that the negotiations must have prospects for progress.
Asked what the Greek Cypriot side expected from President Clinton's visit to the region, he recalled that the US President had stated that he would promote implementation of the G-8 statement on Cyprus and the relevant UN Security Council resolution. "Therefore, we expect him to promote this position. In other words, comprehensive and substantive talks without preconditions", he said.
Mr Kasoulides briefed the European Commissioner about the decision of the Ministerial Committee for EU issues to speed up the harmonisation process and to create the necessary structures, in view of accession, so that Cyprus may accede to the EU, in accordance to the timetable, on 1st January 2003.
He requested that Cyprus be given the necessary pre-accession financial assistance for the period 2000-2004, as offered to all candidate countries of Central and Eastern Europe, in order assist its effort for full harmonisation with the acquis communautaire.
Mr Kasoulides informed Mr Verheugen on the current developments in the Cyprus problem and on the efforts made to resume direct talks. Furthermore he invited the EU to contribute in efforts to utilise the period leading to the European Council Summit in Helsinki.
In a statement after the meeting the EU Commissioner expressed satisfaction with Cyprus' accession course and said that during the following weeks he will be in continuous contact with the Cyprus government in the framework of preparations for the Helsinki summit.
On his part, Mr Kasoulides also expressed satisfaction with the meeting and described the stage until the EU Helsinki Summit as particularly important as efforts for a Cyprus settlement are gaining substantial momentum.
Speaking at Georgetown University in Washington, President Clinton referred to Turkey's role and said that "the future can be shaped for the better, if Turkey can become fully a part of Europe as a stable, democratic and secular Islamic nation," adding that this can happen "if there is progress in overcoming differences with Greece especially over Cyprus," and if it continues to strengthen respect for human rights."
Referring to Greece, President Clinton described it as "the world's oldest democracy, a model to the younger democracies of the Balkans, a gateway to their markets, a force of stability in the region."
The representative of the Finnish Presidency of the European Union made the above reference to Cyprus during a speech on Human Rights, at the United Nations Third Committee yesterday.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/